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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

92                                           FLORA   INDICA.
say ; compared with the exaggerated estimates of the Floras
of other tropical countries, which arc so frequently put forth,
tliis numher (which is certainly not too small) must appear
insignificant; nor would it he,fair of us to expect credence
for it, did we not add that it is the result of the collation of
many irrefragable data, after making a large allowance for du-
bious, undeseribed, and even undiscovered species. It is right
also to add,, that our conviction that the estimates of other
Floras (and indeed of the Flora of the whole globe) are exces-
sively exaggerated, is founded upon extensive personal expe-
rience, and the careful consideration of a largo body of well
established facts; and we arc emboldened in enforcing it, by
the sanction of Mr. Brown, with whom we have repeatedly
discussed this curious and extremely important subject.
With regard to the general diffusion of species throughout
India, we believe that there is no part of the whole area in-
cluded in our Flora where a radius of ten miles produces
many more than 2000 species of flowering plants, and that
this is very rare, confined to mountainous districts, and pos-
sibly to the Khasia. It is further probable that a continuous
area, with a radius of fifty miles, containing 1000 species, is
nowhere to be found in India j if anywhere, its centre is pro-
bably in the Assam valley, in which case it would include
the Khasia, Jhcels of Bengal, and the loftiest regions of the
With regard to local assemblages of species in very narrow
areas, these arc never very numerous, except in the pastures
of the temperate and subalpine districts, where thirty to forty,
in different stages of luxuriance, may be found within a radius
of six feet. Nearly as many may be gathered in the neigh-
bourhood of; and upon, one moss-covered rock oc tree-stump
on the damp, exposed hill-top of the Khasia. It is almost
impossible, however, to appreciate the nicely balanced local
circumstances that determine the number of species which
will all find room, and keep it, in a limited space: much de-
pends ou the prevalence of species that combine to cheek the